Adapted Digital Assessments

Who can use digital papers?

Pupils who are placed at a 'substantial disadvantage' with the usual 'published assessment arrangements'.

They are for learners who:

  • have difficulty with reading ordinary exam papers,
  • or with writing or recording responses.

For these pupils, the school can apply to the SQA to use 'Assessment Arrangements' for disabled candidates and/or those identified as having ASN.

A key part of this is ensuring schools meet their duties under the equality act 2010.

How many pupils are using them?

In 2015, there were:

  • 3,540 requests for digital papers for 1,487 candidates.

Over half the schools in Scotland now use digital papers.

What do digital papers look like?

There are 2 types of digital paper:

  •  'Question and answer' digital papers
  •  'Question only' digital papers

'Question and answer' papers
PDF file with answer boxes so that candidates can type their answers (on screen).

'Question only' papers
Supplied with 'Digital answer booklets' so that candidates can type their answers (on screen).


How easy are they to implement?

  • The school applies to the SQA to use digital papers.
  • SQA sends digital papers on CD (some weeks in advance) and/or the school
             downloads them from SQA's secure site on the day of the examination.
  • Digital papers can then be setup on...
    • A computer with Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word and a text reader;
    • or an iPad (various apps).
  • On the day of the exam, school staff load the the digital papers (and answer booklets, if required) on to a computer or iPad.
  • Completed digital papers and answer booklets are printed off and sent to the SQA to be marked.